A Traditional King Cake is my favorite way to celebrate the Mardi Gras holiday. The soft and fluffy yeast dough sets the perfect foundation for a sweet, smooth frosting. Decorated with an array of purple, green and gold sprinkles, it's easy to understand why this cake is the best part of the celebration!
For the Dough
- 1 (16oz) container sour cream
- ⅓ c sugar
- ¼ c unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 (¼ oz) envelopes active dry yeast
- ½ c warm water (100° to 110°F)
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 6 to 6 ½ c bread flour (all purpose can also be used!)
For the Filling
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter (softened)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
- 3 c powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp butter or cream cheese, softened
- 2-4 Tbsp tablespoons milk
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Purple, green and gold sprinkles
- Add first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat & cool down the mixture to 100° to 110°F
- In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, stir together yeast, ½ cup warm water, and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes. The yeast should become foamy and be 'activated' after that time.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add the sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs and 2 cups flour. Give a quick stir with a spatula and then turn the mixer on medium speed. As the ingredients start to come together, reduce speed to low, and gradually add the remaining flour (4 to 4 ½ cups) until a soft dough forms.
- Once the dough forms, lower the speed setting and allow the dough to knead until smooth and elastic (this can take up to 10 minutes).
- Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a linen cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (85° is ideal) for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- After the dough is finished proofing, divide the dough in half.
- Roll each portion into a long rectangle using a rolling pin. Spread the ⅓ cup butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the butter on each dough rectangle.
- There are multiple ways to form the dough ring, I rolled up each dough rectangle, starting at the long side. Place one dough roll seam side down on a sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with the second roll. Pinch the tops together, and twist the dough logs over each other to give a braided look. Bring the other ends around together to form a ring, ensuring to make a good seal at the seam.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place again, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until golden.
- After the cake is done baking, allow to cool most of the way.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the glaze ingredients until smooth & creamy.
- Pour glaze evenly over warm cake; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands.
- Let cool completely & serve.
Recipe adapted from: MyRecipes.com
Keywords: king cake, mardi gras